• Tawfik Okasha is also referred to questioning for the meeting
  • Egypt was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel

An Egyptian lawmaker and supporter of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was struck by a shoe wielded by a colleague on Sunday after he met the Israeli ambassador to Cairo.

Several lawmakers are asking for Tawfik Okasha, a former television talk show host, to be stripped of his seat for taking steps seen aimed at normalizing relations with Israel, state-run media reported. Okasha was also referred to a parliamentary committee for questioning, according to the state-run Ahram Gate news website.

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel but many oppose stronger ties. Egyptian leaders have avoided visiting Israel since former President Anwar Sadat’s trip that preceded the 1979 Camp David accords. Islamist militants assassinated Sadat in 1981 for concluding the peace deal.

Okasha had met with the Israeli diplomat last week, reportedly seeking Israeli support in Egypt’s dispute with Ethiopia, the state-run Ahram Online reported. Egypt says a dam Ethiopia is building may affect its access to water from the Nile River.

Egypt held parliamentary elections late last year, three years after a court order dissolved an assembly dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. El-Sisi billed the vote as Egypt’s final step in the transition to democracy after the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in 2013, though his critics say the legislature is nothing more than a rubber-stamp body.

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